Teaching Leadership LO6694

David J. Skyrme (david@pop3.hiway.co.uk)
Mon, 15 Apr 1996 08:27:09 +0100

Replying to LO6648 --

Terri says

>I agree that probably few of us have had the opportunity to experience
>a real learning organization, however I do believe they exist and that
>it is possible to cultivate and nurture such environments. I think
>especially of organizations like Semco ("Maverick") and a few others.

I just wonder how much an LO exists at a total corporate level. In my
expereince of innovative and organisations often deemed as LOs, it is a
challenge first to get individuals taking control of their learning and
then to develop collective learning. Few, if any, have the totatliy of the
organisation working in this way.

The best I believe we can hope for, and one where my own learning
increased by a quantum leap is that of self-managed teams (see for example
the book by Buchanan on "High Performing Teams"). Then in aggregate, these
teams work to overlapping (not common) agendas, which gives something
closer to a network of cooperating teams, which may be one mainfestation
of what we might call a LO.

I disagree, though, that "to help create LO the experiences must be
created." Taking my own case, it was not so much the experience that was
created, as the setting, aided by expert facilitation. We did not
consciously go to create experiences, though in retrospect the team
meeting on a pleasure boat and the team barbecue were such experiences.
However, they emerged from the needs of the team and the team agenda and
purpose in its organisation context. In the end each member of the team
assumed multiple (and changing) roles, sometimes being facilitator,
sometimes advocate to the outside world, sometimes budget holder. We
learnt from each other about ourselves, and we learnt how to interact with
our environment.

Rather, the LO must be a lived experience of the workers. Right on.
Therefore it's the workers perceptions of themselves and all of their


David J. Skyrme Tel/Fax: +44 1635 551434
David Skyrme Associates Limited Newbury, Berks, England
a member of the ENTOVATION Network
Knowledge Innovation (sm) Strategies for the Millennium


david@pop3.hiway.co.uk (David J. Skyrme)

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <rkarash@karash.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>